Smart Battery Case for iPhone review

Update: Apple has just released a new Product (RED) version of the Smart Battery Case to benefit World AIDS Day. Check out the new pictures below!

The Smart Battery Case, originally introduced last year for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and iPhone 6, now supports the new iPhone 7. At launch it generated an incredible amount of internet noise. Much of it was reactionary and superficial. The "hump" on the back overshadowed the very clever engineering going on, outside and in.

Since then, though, it's become the go-to for people who need extra battery life for trips, conferences, and even everyday life. Even those who mocked the design seem to have been won over by its utility.

There's no version for the 5.5-inch iPhone Plus size, presumably because that line already benefits from a bigger power reserve. This battery case is intended to even the playing field — to allow you to have your smaller phone but use it longer too. So, does it?

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Smart Battery Case hump

Because the Smart Battery Case is essentially Apple's silicone case for iPhone with a power pack embedded in the back, it looks like it has a "hump" or "bump". An iPod on top of the iPhone. Yoda on Luke's back. Whatever you want to call it, it's there and it's impossible to ignore.

Objectively the design is fine. It's symmetrical, impeccably moulded, and enables significant functionality. Subjectively, it's awkward-looking. There's an unabashed minimalism to it that's not ugly per se, because it's not lopsided or ostentatious, but that's severely lacking in the elegant curves and lines we've come to expect from Apple.

And that's made for some fascinating reactions.

Apple is routinely criticized for putting form ahead of function. In this case, though, putting function ahead of form has resulted in some of the loudest bouts of criticism in recent history.

The "hump" is the result of hard choices made during the design process. By not running the battery all the way along the back, and by not using rigid material to cover it, Apple can hide a hinge beneath the silicone. That hinge lets the top part of the case bend backwards so you can slide your iPhone in and then slip the case back over it.

It provides an alternative to the two-piece cases that require you to remove the top or back in order to put them on. They're typically fussier and more difficult to put on, and the extra parts are susceptible to damage or loss. So, even though the Smart Battery Case is less pleasing to the eye, the resulting one-piece design is a huge win.

Likewise the reception. With other cases, the material can sometimes cause cellular signal to drop. Manufacturers have done a lot to mitigate that over the years, but in areas that already have bad reception, it can still be a problem.

Because of the Smart Battery Case's design, the antenna bands are essentially covered only by thin silicone portion of the case. Moreover, Apple has added coupled passive antennas to further maintain signal. As a result, even in areas where I typically have poor coverage, I haven't noticed any bars dropping. So, the Smart Battery Case may look awkward but the signal retention is another huge win.

That's critically important because when a phone loses signal it boosts the radio which drains power — the exact opposite of what you want with a battery case. It's something most battery cases suffer from, though, which makes them far less efficient.

Here, Apple has solved for efficiency.

The lack of bulk around the sides is also great when you hold it. Because there's no padding to "round it out", it feels especially slim. For me, my index finger naturally falls right above the hump and the rest of it evaporates into my palm. That's considerably better than the slight stretching I feel when I hold other, more voluminous cases. Likewise, it's svelte enough that it slips into pockets without feeling bulky. So, not easy on the eyes but easy pretty much everywhere else.

The hinge, the antennas, the lack of bulk—none of these would be possible if Apple had gone with a more traditional design. None of that functionality would be there absent this form.

For some it won't matter. The hump will be a deal-breaker. They'll never be able to un-see it so they'll never buy it. For others, it'll be a non-issue. They'll frown at the hump once, then pick it up and seldom if ever think about it again.

Smart Battery Case Finish

The Smart Battery Case has a soft-touch finish that, for iPhone 7, comes in white and black — and, as of December 2016, Product (RED). The previous generation version for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 comes in white and charcoal.

To my eyes, the white matches the Magnetic Charging Dock for the Apple Watch and the charcoal is similar to the Smart Keyboard Case for iPad Pro. The black is deeper and a better match for the (matte) and jet black of iPhone 7. The red, as with the rest of the Product (RED) line, is fire

I like the new colors best. White looks crisp and clean on both models, but the black appeals to me far more than the charcoal did. And did I already say the Product (RED) is fire?

I'm generally not a fan of soft-touch, though. Never have been. I dislike how much lint it holds onto. Whenever I have a soft-touch phone or case I constantly find myself trying—and failing—to keep it clean. I'm likely not in the majority on that, though.

Since the soft-touch finish, especially combined with the shape, absolutely make the iPhone easier to hold, I think most people will appreciate it.

Smart Battery Case Ports and Buttons

The cutouts on the Smart Battery Case are great. There's ample room around the rear-facing iSight camera and flash, and around the mute switch. The acoustical port for the speaker channels sound to the front of the case. Not only does it prevent audio and calls from being muffled, it projects them loud and clear.

The edges of the case rise up above the screen so you can put it face down without scratching the glass. I was worried it might interfere with bezel gestures, like swiping to go backwards or forwards in Safari, but I haven't had any trouble.

The passthroughs for the other buttons, including the volume rocker and sleep/wake button, are similarly well done. You have to press a little harder but unlike some other cases they're move cleanly and feel precise.

My one grip is with how the 3.5mm headphone jack is handled. On the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 version, the slim plug at the end of Apple's EarBuds fits into the hole at the bottom of the Smart Battery Case, no problem. Anything wider—and lots of headphone plugs are wider—and it won't fit at all. That's a problem.

The iPhone 7 version, of course, has no 3.5mm headphone jack and so has no need of a cutout. But it would benefit from providing one.

Just like the iPhone Dock connects via lightning but provides 3.5mm out, it'd be great if the Smart Battery Case plugged into Lightning to charge the phone but provided its own 3.5mm out. That feels like it would fix the problem of the cutout on the version for iPhones 6 and provide additional functionality — and accessibility! — for the version for iPhone 7.

Smart Battery Case Charging

Apple has two huge home-court advantages with the Smart Battery Case. First, they get to use a fully functional Lightning passthrough—a Lightning port on the outside and plug on the inside. Second, they get full integration with iOS.

Since the Smart Battery Case has a Lightning instead of a microUSB, you can charge it with the same cable you use to charge your iPhone. Moreover, since it's fully functional, you can charge both the case and the iPhone at the same time. That's one less cable you have to keep around or carry with you, and one less thing you have to remember to charge separately.

The charging is literally "smart" too. With the iPhone adapter, it'll charge the iPhone first then the case. With the iPad adapter, it seems to charge the iPhone and, because there's so much juice, charge the case at the same time. Either way, your iPhone gets priority, which means it'll always have the most charge possible.

Also, your iPhone knows when it's connected to the case rather than a plug so it's smart enough not to begin any backups or background tasks, or other processes that cause excessive drain. If you plug the case in, though, it's also smart enough to open up all those power-hungry processes.

Some people might want a case to enable all that activity, of course, and plenty of cases do. Apple is doing something different: solving for maximum power efficiency in the lightest possible package.

That's why looking at milliamp hours is ridiculous. More gas doesn't help if you consume it faster. It's why Apple branded this the smart battery case rather than the big battery case. They're literally getting more bang from less battery.

Thanks to the iOS integration, charge status for both the iPhone and the Smart Battery Care is prominently displayed immediately on the Lock screen when you plug it in. Charge status for both is also available at any time from Notification Center. Simply swipe down from the top.

Lightning bolt icons show you exactly what is being charged and when. If the case is on, you see it charging the iPhone. If the case is plugged in, you see both the case and iPhone charging. And because you can see the exact percentage for each, which is far more precise then a sequence of four LED lights, you can make a more informed decisions about exactly how much power is left and exactly how you want to spend it.

Other cases sometimes have independent on/off switches. That way, if you want them on your iPhone but not actively charging it, you can do that. Not so with the Smart Battery Case. If it's on, it's charging. That's a benefit. It's handling the power management so you don't have to, and in so doing, keeping the battery as healthy as possible.

Likewise, there's no physical button and light system to show you charge level on the case. That means you can't just pick it up by itself and see how much charge is left. You have to put it on the iPhone.

There is a small LED light inside the case that, when you plug it in, will glow amber when charging and green when fully charged. It can't, however, tell you the level of charge. So, you're back to having to put it on your iPhone.

Again, unabashed minimalism. The case simply keeps your iPhone at the best possible power level at all times, and makes sure you're unnecessarily racing through your battery's charging cycles. You put it on and use it as needed—set it and forget it. For most people, letting the case do the work just works.

Smart Battery Case Bottom Line

At $99 to roughly double the charge capacity of the iPhone 7, iPhone 6s, or iPhone 6, the Smart Battery Case seems much more expensive than budget battery cases. Coming from Apple, that should surprise absolutely no one.

Just like you can find cheaper phones than the iPhone, cheaper smart watches than the Apple Watch, and cheaper computers than the Mac, you can find cheaper battery cases than the Smart Battery Case. You just typically can't find them with the same level of materials, manufacturing, and integration. Those come with the Apple logo on the back.

Beyond that, though, Apple is doing something novel here: They're trying to get the most power from the least battery. Bigger is heavier and that comes with a cost in the hand and the pocket or bag. Apple's case is for those who need a little extra juice some of the time, but want to be weighed down and bulked up as little as possible. That's what they're solving for.

If you don't care about any of that, then you should absolutely buy something else. If the hump isn't a deal-breaker, though, you should get the Smart Battery Case.

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Originally written December 2015. Last updated December 2016 for Product (RED).

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Looks so cheap.
  • Go see one in person. Looks just like their existing silicone cases.
  • Yes, and all silicone cases have a cheapo look and feel to them (Apple or non-Apple). Since you all try to justify Apple's absurd prices by claiming it uses "premium" materials and better "functionality" , I'd like to see what the justifying defense mechanism is going to be this time to explain paying $100 for a battery case made from cheaply available silicone (there goes the premium materials argument) that is unable to fit many 3.5 jacks and is unable to provide a full charge (there go premium functionality arguments)
  • Did you read the article? Of course you didn't.
  • Sure did.
  • Quick fix for your issues...Do not buy the case, while in the apple store cover your eyes in the case section. let it go man..let it go.
  • What is worse? Smart battery "Hump" or Moto360 "Flat tire"?
  • Flat tire, because you're always looking at it. In the pocket or hand, hump is invisible.
  • Until you hold it or use your phone it is invisible.... LOL what kind of logic are you using? Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Surprise surprise Rene, you went with the Apple product as the better of the two. Although sad way of claiming it as the winner by reasoning that you can hide the ugliness by burying the phone in your pocket. By the same logic the flat tire is "invisible" unless you have to look at your to check something on it. The 99cent look and feel of a $100 silicone wrapping the phone won't be invisible no matter how you hold it and the large bulge in your pocket will be a constant reminder that you just dropped $100 for a silicone battery case that can't even do a full recharge and probably won't fit your 3.5 headphone jack either.
  • Well actually every battery case is clunky and make the phone feels enormeous. This one is just the one that tries to make it less obvious. Apple or not, those cases are not "beautiful", they are utilitarian Sent from the iMore App
  • Well then it clearly failed at its objective, because it's very obvious unless you wanna use Rene-logic that "its invisible when you aren't looking at it".
  • I don't like that it only comes in one color. I didn't get the gold iPhone so I can cover it up in white. If Apple ever makes a gold one, I'll give it a try.
  • Two colors: White and charcoal.
  • But no gold.
  • I don't need a battery case for my iPhone, but I'm tempted to buy one just because of all the haters.
  • Hmm, I wonder how psychologists would diagnose that ailment?
  • I don't mind the hump, appreciate the design not adding a lot of bulk to the phone and like the way it charges at the same time as the phone via the same Lightning connector. Oh, also the software battery level display. I just don't need a battery case, but I would quite like to support Apple's design choices here because to me it really seems like they made the right decisions.
  • Easy, oppositional personality disorder! :)
  • were you attempting to say "oppositional defiant disorder" or is this a new undefined disorder found in Apple fanboys?
  • Now that was clever Rene, touche! Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • I wonder how psychologists would diagnose people who have been having a nervous breakdown over a case for two days.
  • Psychologists would say you have a strong case of a nervous breakdown. That is all.
  • It looks like thinner than any battery case I've seen... I might want to buy one too. I admit the hump is not appealing but an oversized case like Morphie's looks more weird and made your thin phone looks like a giant phone.
  • Hmmm... I own and use the Apple Silicone case on my iPhone 6s. I can say whether it is dress slacks, jean pockets, or even coat pockets, the silicone material is "sticky/grippy" and is not all that easy to get in and out of many pockets. I can't imagine a case that is thicker and the same material would be any easier to get in/out of pockets. It's probably worse.
  • I haven't had a problem getting either the standard or battery silicone case in out out. Skinny hipster slacks? :)
  • I think it's new product syndrome. When I first purchased my PRODUCT RED silicone case it was a bit smoother but over time has gotten a bit more "sticky". And no, my slacks and jeans are not "hipster" by any means. LOL
  • Not only does the material collect lint, but it's easily cut or sliced. My Apple leather case has some notches in it from bumps and bangs I can imagine how that case will be after a year of use. The capacity is the crazy part, not even a full charge? Wow.
  • mophie used to offer three levels: helium, air, and pro. This is where the helium was. Less weight/bulk, but less charge.
  • Hasn't Anker been killing Mophie lately? They offer much better capacity and a 'somewhat' similar case for far less money, more than half in some cases.
  • I don't care about the hump at all. Way too much hype over it when it's very small and still a better solution that the big bulky hard plastic battery cases.. The biggest question is whether charging the iPhone battery all the times will hurt it. I cannot image it's great for the phone battery to have it charging all day every day from the case. Typically you are only charging the device 1-2 times per day, but this is like being on the charger 24/7.
  • Nope! It's actually much better for the battery than the alternative. For other types of batteries, you'd be right, but Li-ion batteries are better off being charged this way than run all the way down before being charged.
  • Actually, this isn't true. Here's a good article on cycles, optimal operating conditions, and charging states. Edit* - What I'm saying isn't true/good is the part about keeping the iPhone battery fully charged all the time.
  • Mmm, no, that actually shows exactly what I was saying :-) Just in case you don't believe me: "Similar to a mechanical device that wears out faster with heavy use, so also does the depth of discharge (DoD) determine the cycle count. The shorter the discharge (low DoD), the longer the battery will last." You should occasionally discharge a bunch of your battery for calibration purposes, but if you're the type of power user to buy a backup battery, you're probably already doing that. The only difference is that, except on days of exceptionally heavy use, you're not as likely to hit very low power. So it's totally a net positive to design a battery this way.
  • Keeping the battery at 100% is not considered a short discharge. And keeping them at 100% is bad. From the link: "Lithium-ion suffers from stress when exposed to heat, so does keeping a cell at a high charge voltage." Discharging from 100% to ~85%, which I believe is the 4.2V/cell to 4.0V/cell range and then charging back up is the optimal range depending on temperature, to give you the most 'cycles'. But honestly, who does that anyway? Not many people, and to be honest even discharging down to 10-20% daily most people aren't going to notice too much degradation after 18 -24 months.
  • Except that the iPhone uses a Li-ion battery, which function best when used in small discharge increments, so actually, it's EXTENDING the life of the iPhone's battery, at the expense of the case's battery.
  • No off/on is a fail. And while I haven't used or seen one myself, it looks to me by design that if the phone is laying on its back on the table and I press the home button, its going to wobble. That is beyond a design flaw. Just horrible.
  • See below. There is literally no reason to include that on/off switch. All you do is weaken your iPhone's battery by using its own battery before the case's. It's always driven me crazy that Mophie insisted on putting one on theirs.
  • That's a valid concern regarding the "wobble." I was worried about that, too. I can confirm that there is no wobble whatsoever with regular use while the phone is laying on its back. You'd have to put a significant amount of pressure on the very edge of the bottom of the case in order to get it to lift even a little. The placement of the extra battery coupled with the weight gives the case enough stability to press the home button and use 3D touch with zero issues. The designers/engineers did a fantastic job in that regard. Had the back piece been rounded and extended the full length of the case, like Mophie's, then there would actually be more instability. That has been my experience. I was on the fence when I first saw it, but I was on the market for a slim battery case that could give me just enough bump to match where my old iPhone 6 Plus was at as far as battery life. I almost pulled the trigger on Mophie's Reserve case, but I have always longed for a case that has Lightning Cable integration, so I dragged my feet. When this case was released, I balked at the idea of it based on its price, however, it did cover my list of wants in a battery case. Additionally, the software integration was a nice touch. The looks have never bothered me; in fact, I quite like them! After two solid days with it, it has become my "everyday" case, but this is all subjective to me, of course.
  • Putting it on its back on the table and pushing the home button doesn't make it wobble. I've done it all day with no wobbling. Sent from the iMore App
  • I find it interesting how any comment disapproving of this case is bombarded with down votes. The Apple fanatics are working overtime today lol.
  • Easy to just vote down instead of typing a post on why I might disagree. Sorry your fragile conspiratorial sense is disturbed
  • So you're the one down voting every negative thought about Apple? That's cute.
  • Rene - great review. I went to one of my local Apple Stores yesterday, and me and 3 guys working there went through the case. They encouraged me to put my phone in, try it out. I was pretty impressed. A couple things you mention I wanted to comment on. 1) "The lack of bulk around the sides is also great when you hold it. Because there's no padding to "round it out", it feels especially slim. For me, my index finger naturally falls right above the hump and the rest of it evaporates into my palm." This is so true. I am encouraging anyone interested in this case to go see it and try it out. It really is a good design, overall, if not the most visually attractive. (I don't find it that bad) 2) "That way, if you want them on your iPhone but not actively charging it, you can do that. Not so with the Smart Battery Case. If it's on, it's charging." - The Geniuses talking with me actually said that if I put in a fully charged iPhone, it will show the lightning bolt that it is charging, but that the case actually is used up first, then the iPhone internal battery. This way, you are reducing the number of charge cycles the iPhone battery is using. Not sure if that is an interpretation or what they were trained on, but thought it interesting and worthy of not.
  • Rene, regarding the lack of an on-off switch--that's actually a feature, not a bug. I get that you want "flexibility," but by waiting to flip your backup battery on, you're permanently damaging your iPhone's battery. Li-ion batteries are totally okay being "topped off" constantly like this. What hurts them is deep-cycling (taking its charge from full down to very low before recharging again). Deep-cycling reduces the lifespan of some Li-ion batteries from several thousand recharge cycles down to a few hundred--in point of fact, deep-cycling is probably THE reason why iPhone battery life starts to suck after the first year. By adding an external reserve on top of the battery that you deplete first, you all but ensure it won't have to do as deep a cycle, meaning your battery will last much, much longer even when it gets a bit older. Caring about the "flexibility" you're used to with other cases is exactly the type of thing Apple engineers are famous for saying is stupid.
  • Yeah, I get that, and most times that's absolutely what someone will want. There are situations though where you might want to save the reserve for later. You can still do that here, but you need to take it off to do it. Not a huge deal for most, I imagine, but something worth pointing out.
  • I totally understand--and, for the record, when I had a battery case, I did the same thing. Most days, I wouldn't flip the case on unless I knew I was going to need it. I'm not a crazy person micromanaging my battery--I've got a darn life to live, you know? But, and I say this out of pure curiosity, when might it be that you'd want to save reserve power for later? To me, it seems like charge is charge--it doesn't matter whether you get it now or during some period of peak usage. Either way you're going to end the day with the same amount of charge left...
  • I fail to see how the reserve, used on the front end of the cycle or the back end, changes the overall value of available charge. If I have the case on and deplete my case battery, and then iPhone battery, or if I deplete my iPhone battery, then attach the case and use that charge cycle and this not the same amount of juice being used?
  • Well, for those of us here, I am guessing that get a new phone at least every two years, it doesn't make much difference. But by the case being used first, it is possible that you would go an entire day and not touch your iPhone battery. So, yes, the case would have one less cycle, but the iPhone wouldn't. If the case dies, it can be replaced far easier than an iPhone battery.
  • Understood on that. Not really looking at long term effects, but daily usage and capacity to make it through X time frame without having to plug in. Seems like the same time frame regardless of order of use.
  • while deep cycling hurts the capacity so does constantly topping off LiOn batteries. Thats why Apple doesn't recommend leaving a laptop plugged in all the time and also storing with a state of charge between 40-80%. You should read that article I pointed you to earlier. I can tell you didn't really read it by your earlier response. But if you want to keep going with misinformation thats up to you.
  • If Apple didn't put an on/off switch on the case, there was a reason for it
  • Let's not try and justify the ugliness or the minimal battery capacity of this case just because, it's made by Apple!
    I love Apple products, but I see products for what they really are and besides functionality, people purchase items based on looks as well. Sent from the iMore App
  • I don't think that is what is going on here, at least for me. It isn't defending a product because it is an Apple product. It is asking "Who is this for?" and "what issue is this trying to help/solve" It just so happens that the answer to the first question for you is "not me" and that is fine.
  • I think a crucial question that you don't ask yourself is, "is there a product out there that does the same exact thing AND more at a lesser price and is built with comparable quality?" if unnecessary brand loyalty as if our uncles work at Apple, is put aside and one actually objectively educates themselves about other products, you'd be surprised how many times the answer will be "yes".
  • I would say no. Apple's is integrated with the iphone. Sports a hump.
  • I agree. There is not another product out there doing the same thing. Also, Apple accessories tend to do something others don't. They show other manufacturers "the way" They plant an idea, say think different, then others follow. They clearly were not impressed with what was out there. Granted, there are some features that only Apple can do because of their own rules. But who knows. One day they may open it up to others Sent from the iMore App
  • so i guess Apple is now inventing ugly humps? if you think this 99cent looking silicone case that can't even do a full charge and won't fit half of headphone jacks is "showing the way", then the Koolaid force is very strong with you.
  • I'm sure Samsung will copy Apple once again and build you a battery case soon enough. Maybe it'll have an S hump on it for you...
  • Samsung has had battery cases for a long time and they sure do look better than this 99cent looking crap.
  • Welp, show me your samsung made battery case. Got a link? They haven't had enough time to copy apple yet. You sure? How you like the S hump?
  • They had it for my S2 back in the day in 2011...I never looked into it again as I never had a need for it since unlike the iphone, recent android phones don't need to be condom wrapped in silicone to provide respectable battery life =]
  • I've always found that Android phones with similar battery capacity drain much faster than the iPhone. That is unless you use the power saving modes which can slow the Android phone right down, it's not much use if it takes you twice as long to do things to get twice as much battery life
  • Really??? Please stop with your nonsense
  • For your information! And it's much better than that of Apple...
  • You know, you make this place quite an unpleasant place to be. You really do come across as a very nasty, small minded, person.
  • I love my Mophie case. Will not be getting the apple one. Sent from the iMore App
  • If you've spent the money for a Mophie I concur. I had one for my Iphone 5, but have held off hoping someone (anyone!) would release a battery that uses the same cable to charge it as the phone itself. I have a jillion micro USB cables around because, you know, everyone BUT Apple uses them. Still though, I like the idea of 1 cable.
  • If I wanted more battery life an was willing to put up with extra weight and a more cumbersome form-factor, I'd just get a Plus sized iPhone over the standard one. Maybe not as much battery as a standard 4.7" model plus lardbulge case combined, but close enough, plus I get OIS and better pixel density.
  • How I look at it: Always want the extra battery life: Get iPhone 6s Plus Only occasionally want the extra battery life: Get the iPhone 6s and the Battery Case if and when you need it.
  • The plus isn't a valid option for the masses though as the preference is to not have a massive phone.
  • It is idiotic that Apple is now entering the extended battery power market. They could've just made an iPhone that's a little thicker with a much larger battery instead of having these after-market extra power source. Just my two cents.
  • They did: The iPhone 6s Plus.
  • And the Plus for many is just too big of a phone. I think you know the sentiment of the poster's comment is that Apple's obsession with "thinness" has in some ways come to bite them in the **** when it comes to battery life expectations. All this knowing full well that improvements in battery technology is not moving as fast as the circuitry that requires the power provided by the battery.
  • Apple has zero obsession with thinness. I can't repeat that often enough. Thinness is a side benefit of what they are obsessed about, though, so it's an easy mistake to make. iPhone 6s, Apple TV, all thicker than previous products. (Seeing when they go thicker helps show why as well.) Apple will default to lightness whenever they can, though.
  • If there's ZERO obsession to thinness, why then is it a marketing tool used at product announcements during keynotes? It's been promoted for more than one product line Apple offers. So while you may think there is zero interest and just a byproduct of engineering efficiency, it definitely been pushed to the consumer and press to "marvel" at what the company has achieved.
  • Defaulting to lightness? iPhone 6s is almost imperceptibly thicker but substantially heavier than iPhone 6! Derp!
  • If Apple has zero obsession with thinness, then why don't they make the back of the iPhone flat? why let the camera lens bumped up? As doctorkrabs pointed out, the latest iteration of iPhone also heavier then previous one. How do you justify that?
  • +1
  • Rene, to discuss Jewels post, you have to understand it. He means make the 6s a bit thicker for a higher capacity battery. Maybe even the same for the 6s Plus. Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • The "bulge" on this case is significant, the iPhone would've had to be more than a "little" thicker for a much larger battery. You can always get a Plus model for the extra battery life, I love the battery life on mine!
  • Great review Rene. The hump doesn't bother me at all. In fact, the aftermarket battery cases are - to my eyes - far more unsightly. As you mentioned, the achilles heel is the smallish opening for the headphone jack, unless you go wireless like I did with the excellent Bowers & Wilkins P5s. I'm amused by the haters with the aesthetics -- it's fine.
  • It's junk and looks half- done. It's not hate but higher expectations from Apple and a big letdown entering this market. People just expected better.
  • Eww. The new Apple? Sent from the iMore App
  • How much did Apple pay iMore to do a damage control piece on an ugly and poorly designed accessory? Seriously this is the same company putting an emphasis on crazy thin phones and buying a Hermes watch band and a $10000 Apple Watch yet they design something as visually awful as this? Not to mention competing (and better looking) Mophie battery cases cost less and have a higher capacity plus the ability to put the battery in standby so you can use it only when you want more power while it is in the case. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • HHHRRRMM Vava, do not bring these kind of comments. HR will be coming up soon to see you with a bankers carton box. Please start gathering your items. That includes the new Iphone battery pack that we sold you for $99 and does not charge your phone fully to %100.
  • +1 Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • It's not poorly designed. Go back and read the article.
  • No on/off button or way to see if its charged when not in use is baffling to me.
  • Allow me to help de-baffle...
    Charge your iPhone and battery case simultaneously for increased talk time up to 25 hours, Internet use up to 18 hours on LTE, and even longer audio and video playback.* With the Smart Battery Case on, the intelligent battery status is displayed on the iPhone Lock screen and in Notification Center, so you know exactly how much charge you have left.
  • Does the lightning connector on the battery pass thru data to the phone? (i.e.: can I sync to iTunes thru the battery or use my lightning to 30 pin adapter to hook into my car stereo)?
  • It does, which is an advantage for those who have lots of Lightning accessories.
  • I love it Sent from the iMore App
  • Okay, it's not that bad, even though the Mophie Juicepack Reserve puts it to shame design-wise. I can appreciate the product and what Apple was able to do with it. BUT that "two pieces is a hassle" argument is 100% bullshit.
  • OT, but can someone share that wallpaper?
  • It's ugly and an absolute failure! Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • AC buddies! :)
  • Good lord what a bunch of whiny babies. It's a great case that charges your phone! Sent from the iMore App
  • I'm getting one for sure! if it works with carplay :) and lets see some iPhone 6 smart battery case drop test :O
  • It looks like Apple is so confident these days that you sheeple will buy anything, they said screw it, made this crap and slapped a $100 price tag Such a bad investment. Mophie cases are so much better and have double capacity at the same price. If youre dumb enough to buy this, go for it. Theres no shortage of sheeple, thats for sure
  • hahah My mophie doesnt work with carplay soo meh, is your live is soo sad you have to come here just to comment this? im sorry for you
  • More proof you people will buy ANYTHING with a logo on it. And they wonder why theyre called iSheep. I personally care about that whole value thing. Thats why i'll spend my money elsewhere and get twice the capacity, better looks, more options and best of all, not look like a clueless tool that trusts a brand more than myself.
  • That is the beauty of this being out, it is a choice. If you don't like it, which clearly you don't, you don't have to buy it. However, I don't understand why you feel the need to name call and berate those that express interest in getting one. I never understood that mentality. Question for you, who has such a strong opinion against this product that you angrily post against it and those who like it. Have you visited an Apple Store to see it and out it on your phone in person? If not, you don't know what it is like. And show me the mophie or any other battery case that offers the exact same functionality this one does at any price. I'll spot you the software aspects of battery level on the lock screen and Notification Center (which I like, personally). The one piece design, the added antenna. I'll be here to eat crow when you do. Sent from the iMore App
  • Of course he hasn't actually seen one. But he knows everything and is the judge and jury of what is cool or not... Idontknowtech is a good name for him... I on the other hand have actually owned Mophie cases and was not happy with them because of their design flaws, oh and by the way, the Mophie case was $100 as well... Geez... Sent from the iMore App
  • After seeing you guys talk about this a couple of days ago, I went onto the Apple Store app and purchased one for my 6S. It arrived today and I have to say that too may judgements are being made without actually getting a proper feel for it. I'm not one to make excuses for Apple or anyone else, as I do change phones sometimes more then the weather changes (and I'm in Britain), but the one thing that actually intrigued me was the so-called "hump". Let's not beat around the bush here, there is a hump on the cover BUT it's not as bad as it looks in photos. Trying it out today I've had no issues sliding the device in and out of my pockets. Also depending on how you hold the phone, the external battery actually provides a comfortable ledge for your holding fingers to rest on. The other fear was that the phone would "flip" if you tried to price the home button if you had the phone on a table. This doesn't happen, the phone doesn't even rock when you press it. From what I can gather when you take your phone (and case) off charge, the phone is technically still on charge as it draws power from the case to keep the phone at 100%. With that technique in mind, there really isn't a need for an on/off switch as the case gets drained first (which is a reversal to what we are used to, but not a bad one). All in all, yes I know it's silicone, yes I know it's not a uniform sized piece of plastic like the Mophie cases are, but it appears that it'll keep the phone well protected and actually looks quite decent in the flesh. I know it's £79 and silicone, but it is still a high quality product. I'm pleased with it.
  • Great personal review. How you feel is how I felt when it saw it on my phone. Sent from the iMore App
  • Anyone who spends $100 on this has serious issues when it comes to judging what is a good product and what is a bad product... This, the new "magic" mouse, and the pencil are all complete disgraces. Very disappointed with Apple. I don't think I will ever buy an Apple product again. When my iPad and macbook die, they won't be replaced. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • You didn't even read the comment above did you?
  • Smart case is good. Id buy it again. Maybe ur d one that has issues. Sent from the iMore App
  • I still don't like it. For one reason. The capacity is low for the price. $99 is up there with the higher-end power cases from the likes of Mophie and Incipio. But here's the problem. The Apple one has an 1,877mAh battery. The Mophie Juice Pack Air has a 2,750mAh battery. The Incipio offGRID has a 3000mAh battery, and they all cost roughly the same (the offGRID is slightly cheaper). Really, from what I see, you're essentially paying for the ability to charge both the phone and the case with a Lightning cable, reduced tendency to lose signal strength and that Apple logo on the back (and seeing your case charge level in the notification area). Maybe it might work for you but for me, I buy battery cases to make sure that my phone can last an entire day and given that I'm a heavy user, this really isn't working out for me, especially at that price point. I'm really expecting a lot of downvotes for this, but here's my take. If you want a first-party battery case, wait for the next one. Apple has shown time and time again that their second effort drastically outperforms the first in a gigantic way. In the meantime, I'll be recommending the Mophie Juice Pack Air or the Incipio offGRID instead, unless you have accessories that make use of the Lightning connector. In that case, then you might want the Apple one instead.
  • Don't worry Rene, your Apple sensibilities are still intact. You put in a solid 35 paragraphs about the design before you got around to actually mentioning, you know, that sidebar detail of how much the battery case extends battery life! Stevie would be proud. :)
  • Thanks Rene for the close up pictures and detail review. The molding line is visible (and it's soooo obvious, my god!), and the soft-touch material they used can easily pick up dirt (from the picture above, the white one already showing sign of it). It shows that this is a cheaply designed accessories that Apple still charging their customer for a premium price and Rene is still happily praising about the "thoughtfulness" and "hard decision" that made by the Apple product team. This battery case is UGLY.
  • Yep. I saw the dirt on the white one as well. I don't really care much about it, but it does look a bit on the 'cheap' side. Which I normally wouldn't care unless it has the same price-tag as a Mophie Juice Pack Air.
  • Just purchased my battery case today and neither of my headphones will fit in the jack. Of course, the very uncomfortable Apple headphones fit with no problem. Can someone point me in the direction of a good quality extender that will actually fit in the battery case? There are a number of them on Amazon but I have no idea if they will fit or not. Thanks
  • What are the dimensions of the case? I need to know if it will fit in my wife's armband running case. Her armband case has an opening for the phone to slide into and there is extra room. I just need to make sure that none of the dimensions of this are too large to fit. She needs the extra battery for an upcoming marathon as the phone by itself was running on empty after a recent 20 mile run.
  • Are you close to an Apple store? The reason I ask is it may not be the dimensions so much as the opening how much it will slide in. I suggest that you bring the case in her phone to the Apple store and they will let you try one and put it on and see if it fits.
  • I am three hours away from the nearest Apple Store. The armband case she has is made to fit a phone inside of a case. In particular, it can fit a phone inside of an otter box. I just need to know the dimensions so that I can check if it will fit. If you have one and can measure it that would be great. I'm not sure what you mean about the opening.
  • Grammar police: "You have to press a little harder but unlike some other cases **they're** move cleanly and feel precise." s/they're/they'll? And a comma before but. ;^) Enjoyable review. It's almost too bad I don't have a 6.
  • Just passing by...
  • For me personally i could not careless about the hump its the extra battery life that interested me i would much prefer to have slightly thicker phone with much better battery life than a really thin phone that you cannot use anyways
  • Is apple the only one selling the red version of the battery case? Wanted to buy it from bestbuy since i have credit but can't find it.
  • Just moved from an iPhone 6 with an Undead Power case to a new iPhone 7. I went ahead with the Apple Smartcase and have to say I haven't been disappointed. I liked my two piece Undead Power case, but over time I had some breakage around where the two halves of the case came together. The one piece design of the Smartcase should avoid that. It was also a pain to have to pop off the Undead case when I wanted to dock my iPhone in one of several docking/speaker/clocks I had around the house and office. With the lightning connector that is not an issue now. Fits good in my hand and I like seeing the charge level for both the case and iPhone on the screen. The "hump"? Doesn't bother me at all. Picked up for $89 at Best Buy which was slightly less than the Morphie's.